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How to deal with another tantrum (situation 2)

I recently posted about a tantrum my son had in one scenario. Here is another scenario:

When we are dining out or doing grocery shopping with our 16 month old he doesnt like to sit still and eventually gets really mad and throws a massive fit. Again, we dont have family or friends in the area to help us, daycare cant watch him during the times we would be dining out or grocery shopping so not taking him isnt an option. Anyway he kicks, screams, if he can reach stuff he throws it, major dramatic fits. Normally we try and accomodate him by seeing if he wants a snack, a drink, does he want to be held, carried, walk, we talk to him and if all else fails we remove him from the situation and one of us will sit in the car with him while the other finishes up. I am looking for suggestions on how to deal with a tantrum other than this way. Sometimes if I am alone grocery shopping with him it isnt always easy to remove him right away so these are the times I could really use the suggestions. My first priority in these situations is good parenting, but I also want to be respectful to those around us and that too is a priority.


Asked by mitchellb at 12:19 PM on Feb. 7, 2011 in General Parenting

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This question is closed.
Answers (6)
  • Start giving him the emotional IQ to deal with his frustration better. It won't be an immediate fix but it WILL Help long term. "I know you're frustrated and you want to get down to run. It's hard to sit still when you want to run isn't it! It's ok to be mad about it, but it's not ok to yell and scream that much." Believe me, he'll understand more than you think. He'll learn it. He'll get there.

    And, if we're being totally honest, at that age I wasn't above bribes from time to time. I did what I could to avoid taking the kids food shopping with me - they often stayed with Dad or with me while Dad went food shopping. If I had to bring them, though, the occasional Hot Wheels car or something like cheap and fun was a good thing. We'd do what we could, take some time picking an item and then finish up our trip. It stayed in the package until we paid but he/she could hold it while we finished our trip.

    Answer by ldmrmom at 12:40 PM on Feb. 7, 2011

  • Oh honey I understand...I have twins and they both used to do this to me at the store. The best thing you can do is leave...he can not go shopping with you if he throws a fit.. Do not go shopping until someone else can watch him and you go alone. Another thing you can do is give him something to play with before you start. I used to move really fast through the store as not to allow them to much time to get distracted. Or I used to let my kids touch everything they wanted to see. It still happens though. I always loved it when another Mom would talk to them during a always made them stop.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:25 PM on Feb. 7, 2011

  • It sounds like you're doing a great job at managing a tough situation. You mention "we" in your scenario here. Is it possible that one of you could stay home with your son while the other shops?

    Have you tried giving him a job? I know he's 16 months old, but you'd be amazed what they can do given the chance. At that age we'd practice, for example, the color yellow at home. And by practice, I mean, I'd reference the color a lot "Can you help me find a yellow crayon so I can color the sunflowers in my picture? Do you want to wear the yellow shirt or this one?" :) When we got to the supermarket I'd say "Logan, I need you to help me find yellow bananas. Can you do that?" I'd play games with the cart - zoom up and down aisles when I could, have him hold my check list, play peek-a-boo around the boxes of cereal, etc. Anything to keep him engaged and part of the process. try to time trips for his best times, not near meals or naps

    Answer by ldmrmom at 12:36 PM on Feb. 7, 2011

  • I posted in your other question, I understand too though, I have a 4 1/2 year old and a 3 year old and they have done that to me many times. I have had to leave the store with them many times because of a fit one of them was having. My suggestion would be for the shopping problem is the next time you have to go shopping after he has thrown a fit in the store, if possible, one stays home with him while the other does the shopping. And the one who is home with him , if you can and this may seem like it doesn't work at first because he's young, explaine to him he didn't get to go because he had a fit in the store last time and he cannot do that if he wants to go. it may seem like you're repeating yourself a lot, trust me it did when I had to star this, but he will get it eventually and it will help when he gets older. Mine know that if they throw a fit in the store they don't get to go next time. Good luck !!

    Answer by countrygirl06 at 12:41 PM on Feb. 7, 2011

  • oh and handing him things to hold or put in the cart is a good idea too. And tell him that you understand he's mad about whatever the problem is and its ok to be mad but its not ok to scream about it, as another mom suggested, will help too. And that will work for eating out as well. And sometimes I get mine a cheap treat if they behave, I did it at that age and still do sometimes. It usually stops and fits they are having.

    Answer by countrygirl06 at 12:46 PM on Feb. 7, 2011

  • a good nap helps them act better in public.I can tell a nap needing fit a mile off as i have been there.I tried to get them interested in anything i could find,but actually having them help you find something,keep talking to them as you are asking a question they will listen.Most times if it was getting bad i would leave and tell my child why we were leaving.Children have these fits for attention,tired,know they will get their way,and just plain old being spiteful!Hang in there it does get better.

    Answer by grismelda at 1:34 PM on Feb. 7, 2011